24 May How Well Do You Know Cagayan de Oro’s Duaw Kagay-an Park?
Cagayan de Oro City is proud of having its own kind of parks providing Kagay-anons venues where they can stroll around, breathe in some air, or simply just to enjoy a time of their own or with their families. To mention some of the parks where people of Cagayan de Oro usually visit are Gaston Park which is just beside St. Augustine Cathedral and the City Museum of Cagayan de Oro, Vicente de Lara Park which is fronting the Misamis Oriental Provincial Capitol Building, Golden Friendship Park in Divisoria, Tree Park inside Ayala Centrio Mall and among others. But there is this one park which have been existing since 1987 but wasn’t maintained, until its recent re-launching on February this year 2016.
Duaw Kagay-an Park, one of the city’s to-go-to parks was re-launched on February 27, 2016 with the collaboration of the Cagayan de Oro Government, Kagay-anon International and Cagayan de Oro City Tourism Council, City Tourism Office and City Historical and Cultural Commission.
Led by City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno and Kagay-anon International representatives Gerlou D. Gaane, City Tourism Council Chair Dorothy Jean B. Pabayo and City Tourism Officer Elmer N. Wabe was the unveiling of the new marker which recognizes the sponsors and supporters responsible for the restoration of Duaw Kagay-an Park. The park also features a replica of the Birhen sa Kota sa Cagayan de Oro (Our Blessed Lady of the Holy Rosary) that was placed approximately the same at where an apparition of the Virgin of the Holy Rosary originally appeared, saving the early settlement from the attacking forces of slave raiders.
Aside of the replica of the Birhen sa Kota, what visitors can also see inside the Duaw Kagay-an Park are landscaped gardens, a memorial marker near the entrance which is dedicated to the late Roy Chaloner Gaane who is the founder of Kagay-anon International and prime mover of Tapok and Duaw Park, a tall tarpaulin with the names of the sponsors who made the project possible and a stage with a large tarpaulin at the background. Plus, the view of the Cagayan de Oro river and the Ysalina bridge is rewarding.
February of 1986 when the Philippine Martial Law was dismantled, inviting back 120 Kagay-anons from the US and Canada to come back home to Cagayan de Oro in August 1987. This said homecoming event was called DUAW sa KAGAY-AN and since then, it is observed every two years alternating with the gatherings in the US or Canada celebrating the group of Kagay-anons’ city and origins.
Then, Pablo “Ambing” P. Magtajas, that time’s city mayor, proposed to create the DUAW KAGAY-AN PARK at the side of the old tennis court by the river bank across the City Hall. And after it was built, the late Roy Gaane were there and even did the honor of cutting the ribbon for the opening ceremony. Within a year, the whole park has turned into a garden with the paved walkways and benches.
Until Magtajas was no longer the mayor, Duaw Park was then abandoned. 9 years later, it was Mayor Constantino Jaraula’s reign when he promised to restore the park. Shown below is the perspective design for the Duaw Kagay-an Park that was supposed to be started developing last year 2010 at the site near the City Tennis Court. It was part of his Golden Mile flagship project featuring a landscaped garden with a fountain beside the river and a coffee shop. An amount of at least P100,000 that was allocated for the said project, but the design wasn’t pushed through.
And during Vicente Emano’s last term as mayor, the city of Cagayan de Oro experienced an unfortunate event where it was flooded brought by the Tropical Storm Sendong, with the whole park destroyed and its monument washed away.
Then Mayor Oscar Moreno was inaugurated in June 30, 2013 with his first lady who prioritized the restoration of the park. On the same year, the park was then used as a venue of the garden show Florikultura Garden Show during the city fiesta. The following years up until the present, the park is being used as a venue of some events annually.